We were lucky to be asked to provide the disabled access solution for the Queen’s royal barge – Gloriana – this was in preparation for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The architect needed a simple solution so that the boat’s users could get from the upper outdoor deck to the lower covered part of the barge. They wanted a lift that would cause as little disruption to the boat as possible and would be quick and simple to operate. The main challenge was that they came to us 4 weeks before the Gloriana was due to motor up the Thames as part of the celebration. The majority of our projects are completed in 10-12 weeks so it was a race against time to get the lift designed, built and then installed.
We designed and created a scissor lift that would fit under the original cabin doors and would have a very small pit below the lift of only 120mm. The lift’s platform measured 800mm x 1200m so could easily fit a wheelchair as well as another person. When not in use the temporary steps were placed on top of the lift so that the boat could be used as it was before the installation of the lift. We managed to use the boat’s own power supply of 24V DC to operate the lift. In order to disguise the lift and make it match the aesthetics of the Gloriana, we finished the platform with the same Elm, from the Prince of Wales Estate in Cornwall, that was used on the rest of the interior of the boat.
On the day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee the Gloriana sailed down the Thames with members of the Help For Heroes Charity, unfortunately it was a wet day but luckily our lift was installed so everyone could get under cover quickly and safely.
Location: Central London
Year Completed: 2012